Canal cyclists

Cyclists enjoy an autumn day on the C&O Canal Towpath near Fifteen Mile Creek in Little Orleans.

CUMBERLAND, Md. — The National Park Service will receive $1.8 million to rehabilitate 18 miles of the C&O Canal towpath in Allegany County, one of 42 bicycle, pedestrian and trail improvement projects across Maryland that will receive a portion of $16.8 million in grant funding, according to Gov. Larry Hogan.

“Over the last year and a half, more and more Marylanders have been walking, riding bikes, and using trails for transportation, recreation, and exercise,” Hogan said in a news release. “These grants, made possible through the federal and state programs, are helping us enhance quality of life and provide additional safe bike and pedestrian opportunities.”

The funding breaks down to $12.4 million from the federal government through the Transportation Alternatives Program, $1 million from the Recreational Trails Program and about $3.4 million in state funding through the Maryland Department of Transportation Kim Lamphier Bikeways Network Program.

The money for the towpath comes from the Transportation Alternatives Program, which is aimed at funding on and off-road pedestrian and bike facilities, efforts to mitigate environmental issues and projects that are a part of the Safe Routes to School initiative.

“Bicycle and pedestrian facilities are key components of Maryland’s broad, multimodal transportation strategy,” MDOT Secretary Greg Slater said. “Through these state and federal grant programs, we’re delivering projects that preserve and enhance Maryland’s cultural, historical, and environmental attributes and make them safe and accessible for everyone.”

Funds will also go toward the study and design of bicycle connections in various towns and counties, including Luke in Allegany County.

Brandon Glass is a staff writer for the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @Bglass13.

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Staff Writer

Brandon Glass is a reporter for the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @Bglass13